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'Awkward.' fan react: Nobody edits Jenna into a corner

Season 5 | Episode 19 | “Girls Gone Viral” | Aired Apr 26, 2015

After publishing her first personal piece for Ideabin, Jenna is a girl gone viral, but the collateral damage makes that girl go wild. What should be an achievement to celebrate becomes a mess she tries to sweep underneath a rug. It’s simultaneously rewarding and, of course, awkward. Welcome to the world of writing for the Internet, Jenna!

The exposé on Jenna and Matty’s breakup (the millionth, if Awkward. fans are keeping count) left a sour taste in Matty’s mouth. Turns out he doesn’t love being online fodder for sassy tweens and having his dirty laundry aired by his ex-girlfriend. Even though she didn’t pull up nearly as many receipts as Beyoncé did with Lemonade, her words still dampened their re-blossoming friendship.

However, the article did land Jenna the e-book deal, due to its 300,000-plus view count, a feat she can’t fully enjoy. Her professional success comes at Matty’s expense. Because she’s a decent human being and is constantly being tested (Unfairly! This girl can never live in peace!), she promises Matty she’ll have the piece stripped from Ideabin’s website. But why does she want Matty’s forgiveness more than a memoir?

Beau Mirchoff as Matty in Awkward.

Listen, I get that Matty felt undermined by Jenna and that her version of the breakup as published went for the jugular, but that’s not the whole story. Jenna’s essay was edited for virality, just as her headline had been. An entire section that focused on Jenna’s faults and responsibility in the split was given the old CRTL+ALT+DEL treatment. She tries to relay this fact to Matty, original manuscript in hand, but he won’t hear any of it.

I’m just going to say it: Matty is being stubborn. Maybe I’m biased since I relate to Jenna’s side of the argument, having published a few personal essays on the interwebs in my day, but he slammed the door in Jenna’s face mid-explanation. Sure, she could have written their story through a more global, Carrie Bradshaw lens. He has a right to be hurt. But I can’t shake the feeling that Jenna’s art—yeah, I went there and said art—is being undervalued.

As much as Matty wants to remain private, Jenna wants to express herself through the written word, and, yes, written words are generally disseminated for public consumption. Sometimes you want to write something intimate, with the grit of a celebrity tell-all, but you consider who might catch shade once it lands in their timeline. Sometimes you don’t care. Honestly, everyone on Awkward. is lucky Sadie hasn’t pursued a career in writing.

Brett Davern as Jake in Awkward.

Jenna should have cared. She should have censored more than Matty’s name. The wounds were still fresh, but that’s why she wrote the piece, and that’s why it connected with over 300,000 people. Although it was painful to hear her essay compared to her mother’s “carefrontation” letter (by her mother, no less) and watch her e-book deal slip from her grasp, she made the right decision pulling the article.

While Jake rebounds from Lissa with Jenna’s in-office nemesis and Sadie and Sergio end their f— buddy arrangement in favor of love, Jenna stands before Matty’s front door reciting her unedited essay. On the other side, Matty listens to the truth. The real truth. She lays it all on the line, her dignity and her career, all for true love. Why else would she have risked losing everything?

She’ll always have the story to tell and tweak for when she does write a book. Jenna had to chose what was more important to her long-term: Matty or a viral article. Sure, having a hot clip in your portfolio is a plus, but preserving that one great relationship … that’s sacred. She chose correctly, and stood her ground at work even though it could have ended her fellowship. Because nobody edits Jenna into a corner.

Awkward. airs Tuesdays at 10/9C on MTV.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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